Brett King joins Dave Sussman to discuss Artificial Intelligence, Singularity, and his book Augmented: Life In The Smart Lane which covers the incredible leaps technology has taken and the profound impact it will have on all our lives, from medical and healthcare advances to the application of computer technology to solve many of the world’s problems. 

Brett King is a Futurist, an international bestselling author, a renowned commentator and globally respected speaker on the future of business. He has spoken in over 40 countries, to half a million people, on how technology is disrupting business, changing behavior and influencing society. He has spoken at TED conferences, given opening keynotes for TED, Wired, Singularity University’s Exponential Finance, The Economist and many more. He advised the National Economic Council on the Future of Banking and been invited to meet with regulators from the United States, China, the European Union and the World Bank. He has been featured in countless television interviews and publications throughout the world. Find Brett at AugmentedBook.com and BrettKing.com

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There are 8 comments.

  1. Member

    This was another excellent interview. If you have him back, I wonder what he thinks about the lawsuit against google. Many large Silicon Valley tech companies have swung hard left. Will this lead to their decline or will they stifle free speech. This leftist panopticon gives me the chills. I also would like to hear his views about supposed fake news. A fair bit of what’s on the internet about the history of GPS is false. But the solution is not to label it as fake news. Instead, allowing vigorous debate can lead to the victory of truth over falsehood.

    • #1
    • March 23, 2018 at 8:49 pm
    • 2 likes
  2. Member

    Interesting interview, but I wish King were more of a pessimist (ie, realist) about human nature.

    He talks about a future with some sort of universal basic income, so that young people didn’t have to work to live. Instead, they could spend their time solving problems such as global warming, etc. But it seems more likely to me that young men in particular would choose to spend their time on video games, drugs, and sex robots. Where does that lead?

    Also, China’s new social credit score system is really scary, and gets easier to implement the more of lives we spend online. I can see more countries using something like that. Do we still have enough respect in America for freedom and individuality to fend that off? I have my doubts, since young people are already ok with limiting free speech. 

    • #2
    • March 24, 2018 at 7:03 am
    • 4 likes
  3. Member

     Like most Utopian futurists, King seems to think that inequality is a simple problem easily solved by redistribution and technology. Unfortunately, inequality isn’t just a matter of economics. It has a lot more to do with motivation, intelligence, family structure, and education. I started my teaching career in the late 1960s and retired in 2013. I saw how very little the introduction of computers into the schools improved education of the masses. Sure, there were kids who benefited enormously from them, but those were the kids who would have excelled one way or the other. For the majority, computers became game platforms, access ports for proscribed sites, and, in a few unfortunate cases, toys to be disected and otherwise destroyed for the pure amusement of it. Back when mice had a ball system the balls were removed and used for other purposes, rendering the mouse useless for other students. The concept that income and the necessities of life will be provided for those unemployed who will then use their “talents” to do great works like aiding with the correction of Global Warming or helping developing nations is simple poppycock that is more related to Star Trek than to the real world.

    The things that keep people perennially unequal and add to the span of inequslity have far more to do with the humans themselves than anything that technology can solve. The people of Venezuela chose the government they have either by directly opting or by failing to choose. It is the same the world over. People get the government they deserve. That so many awful examples exist in the world is an unarguable testimony to the kind of human perfidity that no technology can correct which is why socialism in the best possible circumstances has never been successful.

    • #3
    • March 25, 2018 at 8:28 am
    • 2 likes
  4. Contributor

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    This was another excellent interview. If you have him back, I wonder what he thinks about the lawsuit against google. Many large Silicon Valley tech companies have swung hard left. Will this lead to their decline or will they stifle free speech. This leftist panopticon gives me the chills. I also would like to hear his views about supposed fake news. A fair bit of what’s on the internet about the history of GPS is false. But the solution is not to label it as fake news. Instead, allowing vigorous debate can lead to the victory of truth over falsehood.

    Thanks Richard.

    Are you referring to James Damore? If so, I think it’s a great subject to discuss on a broader scale pertaining to bias, political correctness, diversity of thought and how it may all pertain to what we see in our search results, what pops up on youtube and why conservative thought is being demonetized. It’s a profoundly important subject. How does bias from programmers impact technology?

    • #4
    • March 26, 2018 at 12:35 am
    • Like
  5. Contributor

    Matt Bartle (View Comment):

    Interesting interview, but I wish King were more of a pessimist (ie, realist) about human nature.

    He talks about a future with some sort of universal basic income, so that young people didn’t have to work to live. Instead, they could spend their time solving problems such as global warming, etc. But it seems more likely to me that young men in particular would choose to spend their time on video games, drugs, and sex robots. Where does that lead?

    Also, China’s new social credit score system is really scary, and gets easier to implement the more of lives we spend online. I can see more countries using something like that. Do we still have enough respect in America for freedom and individuality to fend that off? I have my doubts, since young people are already ok with limiting free speech.

    Matt, I think we heard Brett present a loose conceptualization of a more equality-based society based on a Utopian economic system, which he suggests differs from of what we know as socialism. He mentions how we are moving toward technology-based wealth systems where kids are graduating schools with massive debt and no job skills for the new jobs. This is certainly true. So, to train new skills to truckers or other soon to be obsolete careers, he proposes solutions that would obviously be expensive to taxpayers but can probably be argued or countered with the ramifications of allowing entire populations to not be working at all.

    I personally think he proposes solutions that are likely not financially feasible nor desirable, but the issue is very much a reality that deserves considering all options, whatever they may be.

    • #5
    • March 26, 2018 at 12:52 am
    • Like
  6. Contributor

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):

    Like most Utopian futurists, King seems to think that inequality is a simple problem easily solved by redistribution and technology. Unfortunately, inequality isn’t just a matter of economics. It has a lot more to do with motivation, intelligence, family structure, and education.

    Indeed, see my last response to Matt.

    The things that keep people perennially unequal and add to the span of inequslity have far more to do with the humans themselves than anything that technology can solve. The people of Venezuela chose the government they have either by directly opting or by failing to choose. It is the same the world over. People get the government they deserve. That so many awful examples exist in the world is an unarguable testimony to the kind of human perfidity that no technology can correct which is why socialism in the best possible circumstances has never been successful.

    This opens the question, what if AI could help people vote smarter, possibly based on voting patterns and other behaviors (economics, spending patterns, books read, podcasts listened to, etc). What if we enabled people to understand a candidate’s policy positions which allows them to not be subjected to media bias, campaign commercials or special interest money. If AI suggested to the voter which candidate represents their similar archetype maybe this type of approach to educating voters could benefit conservatives (assuming we agree more people would vote for conservatives principals once they are not being manipulated by Leftism).

    Or not.

    • #6
    • March 26, 2018 at 1:09 am
    • Like
  7. Member

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    This was another excellent interview. If you have him back, I wonder what he thinks about the lawsuit against google. Many large Silicon Valley tech companies have swung hard left. Will this lead to their decline or will they stifle free speech. This leftist panopticon gives me the chills. I also would like to hear his views about supposed fake news. A fair bit of what’s on the internet about the history of GPS is false. But the solution is not to label it as fake news. Instead, allowing vigorous debate can lead to the victory of truth over falsehood.

    Thanks Richard.

    Are you referring to James Damore? If so, I think it’s a great subject to discuss on a broader scale pertaining to bias, political correctness, diversity of thought and how it may all pertain to what we see in our search results, what pops up on youtube and why conservative thought is being demonetized. It’s a profoundly important subject. How does bias from programmers impact technology?

    I think that it makes google vulnerable. First, they are not hiring and retaining the best talent. Conservatives are being discriminated against there. Many people, including yours truly, have reduced their usage of the google search engine since we don’t want to help them succeed. King is optimistic about the future. Perhaps it’s because his views are in line with google/apple etc. management so he has nothing to fear from them. These tech companies’ economic power are being used to enforce ideological conformity. That should scare people. What happens when companies enforce their own version of 1984. Google emforcing its own version of, “A boot stamping on a human face forever” is a chilling prospect. And it will affect their long-term prospects.

    • #7
    • March 26, 2018 at 1:12 am
    • 1 like
  8. Contributor

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    This was another excellent interview. If you have him back, I wonder what he thinks about the lawsuit against google. Many large Silicon Valley tech companies have swung hard left. Will this lead to their decline or will they stifle free speech. This leftist panopticon gives me the chills. I also would like to hear his views about supposed fake news. A fair bit of what’s on the internet about the history of GPS is false. But the solution is not to label it as fake news. Instead, allowing vigorous debate can lead to the victory of truth over falsehood.

    Thanks Richard.

    Are you referring to James Damore? If so, I think it’s a great subject to discuss on a broader scale pertaining to bias, political correctness, diversity of thought and how it may all pertain to what we see in our search results, what pops up on youtube and why conservative thought is being demonetized. It’s a profoundly important subject. How does bias from programmers impact technology?

    I think that it makes google vulnerable. First, they are not hiring and retaining the best talent. Conservatives are being discriminated against there. Many people, including yours truly, have reduced their usage of the google search engine since we don’t want to help them succeed. King is optimistic about the future. Perhaps it’s because his views are in line with google/apple etc. management so he has nothing to fear from them. These tech companies’ economic power are being used to enforce ideological conformity. That should scare people. What happens when companies enforce their own version of 1984. Google emforcing its own version of, “A boot stamping on a human face forever” is a chilling prospect. And it will affect their long-term prospects.

    The scariest thing about all of this is essentially we have a handful of tech companies that run everything we use. I don’t know how we don’t use The Google, Apple, Facebook, or Amazon without it making our lives less convenient or more expensive. 

    I don’t know the answer. The more our lives increasingly intersect with technology and we enjoy a never-ending panoply of choices we can’t help feeling the irony of how little choice we really have.

    • #8
    • March 26, 2018 at 1:24 am
    • 1 like